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A California school district has initiated an investigation after a Marine tackle two students engaged in a fight last week. Video of the incident has since gone viral.
The video shows two Edison High School students fighting when 18-year-old Marine Pfc. Josue Valdez Sarmiento sprints toward them. Valdez Sarmiento runs into both students, tackling and subduing them.
“Stockton Unified is aware of the student matter that took place on 9/11/19 at Edison High School and the recording circulating on social media. We are actively investigating the situation,” the school district said in a statement, according to KCRA-TV.
Valdez Sarmiento is a graduate of Edison HS and was on campus to help with military recruitment. His superiors applauded his decision to intervene, although they said he could have handled the situation better.
“He saw a dangerous fight break out. Upon observing that situation, he moved over and broke up the fight,” Maj. Thomas Driscoll told KCRA. “Although, the manner in which he did [could] have been improved, we are proud of Pfc. Valdez Sarmiento for his decision to intervene.”
However, parents were not happy.
“I was upset. It was upsetting to see that someone would do that. I just think it was unnecessary force,” parent Mario Patiño told KTXL-TV. “Someone like that shouldn’t be allowed on campus.”
“An adult should never put their hands on … they’re trained to deal with situations in a different way,” parent Sarah Savala added.
The Marine Corps has since reassigned Valdez Sarmiento to office duties, according to KTXL. He will no longer be around students. In addition, the Marine Corps said he also received counseling.
Part of the school district’s investigation includes why school officials did not intervene more quickly. The status of the two students involved was not made available.